Greetings (again) from the School Health Unit!
Reducing Risk of Mosquito-borne Illness While Outdoors
Guidance for School Staff: Applying EPA- Approved Mosquito Repellent to Prevent EEE
Massachusetts is in the second year of an EEE outbreak cycle, and there is a risk that people may be infected. However, children can continue to spend time outdoors for recess and other activities during the day with the use of repellent—as well as wearing long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when possible. Outdoor activities should be avoided between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis) is a rare but serious disease that is generally spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group; however, people under age 15 are at particular risk.
To reduce the chance of becoming infected, the Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends always applying an EPA-approved mosquito repellent to children before they go outside. EPA approved repellents contain DEET, permethrin, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Attached is the full guidance document, as well as several items that can be put up in schools, go home with students, go up on websites, and otherwise be disseminated widely. There are materials for both caregivers and students in English and Spanish, and soon a Portuguese translation will also be available. Additional materials regarding mosquito-borne illness prevention can be found here. The guidance document can also be found on the MDPH Local Public Health page.
I hope this provides some helpful information, as well as clarity around the use of insect repellent in the school setting.
Take good care,